Law Seminars International Presents: The Ninth Annual Comprehensive Conference on

Energy in the Southwest
New directions in energy markets and regulation

(For this past program, we offer two options for purchase: a Homestudy (DVD and written materials) or written materials alone.)

July 9 & 10, 2012
Hilton of Santa Fe Historic Plaza Hotel in Santa Fe, NM

Who Should Order This Homestudy

Attorneys, industry executives, governmental officials, customer representatives and anyone else involved with energy development in the Southwest

Why You Should Order

In many ways, energy development in the Southwest has become emblematic of the country's energy future. The emergence of shale gas as a viable energy source could have the potential to dramatically alter our energy future by providing a long-term supply of inexpensive fuel, but questions remain about the sustainability of hydraulic fracturing and the abundance of this resource. Meanwhile, both renewables and traditional sources, such as coal, will face specific challenges posed by today's unique regulatory climate; renewables, by the lack of incentives, and in the absence of federal carbon controls and the fulfillment of state portfolio standards, and coal, by questions about its viability in the face of air and water quality concerns.

This conference will provide a comprehensive look at recent trends and developments in energy policy in the Southwest. The challenges facing each major fuel source in our region's diverse energy portfolio will be discussed and coupled with expert analysis of financial and regulatory trends at both the federal and state level. The impacts of FERC Order 1000, the status of major transmission projects in the region and pending legal challenges to pertinent environmental regulations, will all be discussed. Here is the perfect opportunity to meet and hear from state commissioners, federal regulators, leading energy lawyers and other experts from our region and beyond, and to participate in the ongoing energy law and policy dialogue that will shape the future of the electric industry in the Southwest.

~ Program Co-Chairs: Steven Michel, Esq., Western Resource Advocates and Robert M. Pomeroy, Esq., Holland & Hart LLP

What You Will Learn


Monday, July 09, 2012

8:00 am

Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:30 am

Introduction and Overview: Major Policy Issues for Energy in the Southwest

Steven Michel, Esq., Program Co-Chair
Western Resource Advocates / Santa Fe, NM

Thorvald A. Nelson, Esq.
Holland & Hart LLP / Greenwood Village, CO

8:45 am

Energy Policy Development in the Nation's Capital

In the Congress and at the agency level: Pending legislative proposals (including Senator Bingaman's Clean Energy Standard), and anticipated future bills; items on the FERC's agenda for the Southwest

Suedeen G. Kelly, Esq.
Patton Boggs LLP / Washington, DC

9:30 am

A Business Perspective on Current Market and Political Dynamics

What are the impacts on the viability of various future resources?

Brent E. Gale, Esq., Sr. VP, Regulation and Legislation
MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company / Des Moines, IA

10:15 am

Break: Coffee, Tea and Conversation

10:30 am

Legal Challenges to, and Regional Affected Party Implementation of, Order 1000; Areas of Certainty and Uncertainty, and Likely Outcomes

Federal level

Marc L. Spitzer, Esq.
Steptoe & Johnson LLP / Washington, DC

In the Southwest

The Hon. Jason A. Marks, Esq., Commissioner
New Mexico Public Regulation Commission / Santa Fe, NM

12:00 pm

Lunch (on your own)

1:15 pm

Current Transmission Projects in the Southwest

The planning process

Jeremy Turner, Executive Director
New Mexico Renewable Energy Transmission Authority (NMRETA) / Santa Fe, NM

Update on the SunZia project

David Getts, General Manager
Southwestern Power Group II / Phoenix, AZ

2:45 pm

Customer Concerns Over Rising Electric Rates

With low or even negative load growth due to the recession, why are we adding new plants to the rate base?

Thorvald A. Nelson, Esq.
Holland & Hart LLP / Greenwood Village, CO

3:15 pm

Break: Soda, Tea and Conversation

3:30 pm

EPA Policy Priorities for the Energy Sector

Carbon, air quality and water quality

Richard W. Sprott
Bear Claw Environmental Consulting LLC / Angel Fire, NM

4:00 pm

Update on Pending Legal Challenges to Environmental Regulations and Likely Outcomes


Marte D. Lightstone, Esq.
Modrall Sperling / Albuquerque, NM

Stakeholder perspectives

Vickie Patton, Esq., General Counsel
Environmental Defense Fund / Boulder, CO

Samuel B. Boxerman, Esq.
Sidley Austin LLP / Washington, DC

5:30 pm

Special Reception for Faculty and Attendees at Due West Gallery

Sponsored by Holland and Hart LLP


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

8:00 am

Continental Breakfast

8:30 am

Introduction to Day Two: What the Future Holds for Energy in the Southwest

Steven Michel, Esq., Program Co-Chair
Western Resource Advocates / Santa Fe, NM

Thorvald A. Nelson, Esq.
Holland & Hart LLP / Greenwood Village, CO

8:45 am

Sustainable Low-Cost Gas as a Game Changer

Can Shale Gas Overcome Environmental Concerns Over Hydraulic Fracturing and Usher in an Era of Sustainable Low Cost Gas? Update on new developments in the science

Daniel I. Fine
New Mexico Center for Energy Policy / Hobbs, NM

Gas development: Pending litigation; new disclosure requirements

Michael Chiropolos, Esq., Director Lands Program
Western Resource Advocates / Boulder, CO

10:15 am

Break: Coffee, Tea and Conversation

10:30 am

State Commissioners Address Future Trends in State Regulatory Policy: How are the Pieces Fitting Together?

Steven Michel, Esq., Program Co-Chair, Moderator
Western Resource Advocates / Santa Fe, NM

The Hon. Douglas J. Howe, Commissioner - District 3
New Mexico Public Regulation Commission / Santa Fe, NM

The Hon. Alaina C. Burtenshaw, Esq., Chairman
Public Utilities Commission of Nevada / Las Vegas, NV

12:00 pm

Lunch (on your own)

1:15 pm

Effects of the Drought: Water Rights as a Deciding Factor for Existing Plant and New Project Viability

Economic gains from selling water rights for cooling water vs. impact of continued drought on plants with secondary water rights

Bart Miller, Water Program Director
Western Resource Advocates / Boulder, CO

1:45 pm

The Future for Renewables: Achieving Economic Viability in an Era of Low Gas Prices and Governmental Belt Tightening?

Overview of factors affecting the viability of renewables including technological advances and the current status of federal and state incentive programs

Bob Anderson, Director
Western Grid Group / Zephyr Cove, NV

2:15 pm

The Future for State Renewable Portfolio Standards: Are they Working? Are There Better Alternatives?

Effectiveness in promoting renewables development in an era of difficult project financing

Thorvald A. Nelson, Esq., Moderator
Holland & Hart LLP / Greenwood Village, CO

Mark P. Berkman, Principal
The Brattle Group / San Francisco, CA

Greg Patterson, Esq., CPA, Director
Arizona Competitive Power Alliance / Phoenix, AZ

3:15 pm

Break: Soda, Tea and Conversation

3:30 pm

Wrap Up Discussion on The Future of Coal: Can It Economically Overcome Air and Water Concerns?

Thorvald A. Nelson, Esq., Program Co-Chair, Moderator
Holland & Hart LLP / Greenwood Village, CO

Update on state proceedings on plant shutdowns; how the economics have been playing out

Raymond L. Gifford, Esq.
Wilkinson Barker Knauer, LLP / Denver, CO

Stakeholder perspectives

John Horning, Executive Director
WildEarth Guardians / Santa Fe, NM

5:00 pm

Evaluations and Adjourn



Regular tuition for this program is $1245 with a group rate of $935 each for two or more registrants from the same firm. For government employees, we offer a special rate of $830. For students and people in their job for less than a year, our rate is $622.50. All rates include admission to all seminar sessions, food and beverages at breaks, and all course materials. Make checks payable to Law Seminars International.


There is a $25 cancellation fee for Course Materials orders and $50 for Homestudy orders

Continuing Education Credits

Live credits: This program qualifies for 13.9 NM CLE; 13.5 AZ CLE; 14 CA MCLE; 16.5 CO CLE; 13.5 IA CLE (pending); 13.5 IL CLE (pending); 13.5 NV CLE; 13.5 WA CLE credits. Upon request, we will apply for, or help you apply for, CLE credits in other states and other types of credits.

Faculty Bios

Steven Michel, Program Co-Chair, is Chief Counsel for Western Resource Advocates' Energy Program, an environmental law and policy center in the interior West. Previously, he was General Counsel for the New Mexico Industrial Energy Consumers.

Robert M. Pomeroy, Program Co-Chair, Chair of the Energy Practice Group at Holland & Hart LLP, represents electric consumer coalitions in several Western states, as well as IPPs in Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico. He was named by Law Week Colorado as the state's "Best Renewable Energy Lawyer."

Frederick J. Schmidt, Moderator, partner, Holland & Hart LLP, focuses on regulatory and administrative law with emphasis on public utility. He has negotiated contracts for financing and permitting of renewable projects, and was Commissioner of Nevada Public Service Commission and the State's Consumer Advocate.

Bob Anderson, Director, Western Grid Group

Mark P. Berkman, principal, The Brattle Group, focuses on environment, energy, natural resources, environmental health and safety and public finance. He studied employment and economic welfare impacts of proposed tariffs on Chinese photovoltaic cell and module imports to the United States and analyzed economic and environment impacts of proposed wind and solar energy projects.
Full bio and contact info for Mark P. Berkman at The Brattle Group

Samuel B. Boxerman, partner, Sidley Austin LLP, in their Environmental Practice Group, counseled on environmental compliance and assists clients developing and implementing environmental management systems under the ISO 14001.

The Hon. Alaina C. Burtenshaw, Chairman, Public Utilities Commission of Nevada, previously was staff counsel for the Commission where she focused on rural water companies and the energy industry.

Michael Chiropolos, Director, Lands Program at Western Resource Advocates, focuses on protecting Western landscapes from environmentally unsound energy development, and advocates for policies that protect our air, water, communities and climate.

Dr. Daniel I. Fine, New Mexico Center for Energy Policy is an expert in energy future and economics. Previously, he was a research associate at MIT and participated in Harvard Business School's Project Energy Futures, and a contributes to Business Week.

Brent E. Gale, Senior Vice President for Regulation and Legislation at MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company, focuses on United States regulatory and legislative strategic planning, retail rates and regulations, and state and federal regulatory relations.

David Getts, General Manager, Southwestern Power Group II, is responsible for business and project development in power generation, transportation and metals industries. He was CFO of SouthWestern Power Group.

Raymond L. Gifford, partner, Wilkinson Barker Knauer, LLP, counsels communications, electric and gas utilities and information technology companies. He is former Chairman of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission.

John Horning, Executive Director, WildEarth Guardians, directs the organization's campaigns to protect the American West's lands, water and wildlife from a wide-array of threats.

The Hon. Douglas J. Howe, Commissioner, 3rd District, New Mexico Public Regulation Commission, focuses on global gas and power industries. Previously, he was with HIS Cambridge Energy Research Associates, General Public Utilities and Jersey Central Power & Light.

Suedeen G. Kelly, partner, Patton Boggs LLP, former FERC Commissioner credited with spearheading change in many regulatory policies, including integration of renewables into the grid, transmission interconnection and planning reform, and deployment of smart grid technology.

Marte D. Lightstone, Modrall Sperling, focuses on oil, gas, evironment, tribal resources and jurisdictional issues. She also works in oilfield-related environment, air and groundwater, and climate change issues and greenhouse gas regulations.

The Hon. Jason A. Marks, Commissioner of New Mexico Public Regulation Commission, has led the Commission through several major litigated rate cases. He is known for his advocacy for renewable energy.

Bart Miller, Water Program Director, Western Resource Advocates, he manages a team that address the connection between water use, energy production and climate change, including new water right for Black Canyon National Park on Gunnison River.

Thorvald A. Nelson, partner at Holland & Hart LLP, practices public utility regulatory law including telecommunications, energy, antitrust, trade regulation and litigation.

Greg Patterson, CPA, Director, Arizona Competitive Power Alliance, was a member of the Arizona House of Representatives and Director of the Residential Utility Consumer Office.

Vickie Patton, general counsel, Environmental Defense Fund, manages their national and regional clean air programs. She has been active in and written about Clean Air Act.

Marc Spitzer, partner, Steptoe & Johnson LLP, former Commissioner, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, focuses on supplies of electricity and natural gas, wholesale energy markets and transmission systems. He was Chairman of the Arizona Corporation Commission.

Richard W. Sprott, Sole Member, Bear Claw Environmental Consulting LLC, assists businesses and institutions plan and implement energy, climate and air quality policies and regulations. Previously, he was Executive Director of the Utah Department of Environmental Quality and Director of the Division of Air Quality.

Jeremy Turner, Executive Director, New Mexico Renewable Energy Transmission Authority (NMRETA) is experienced in marketing and financial analysis. He was Director of Finance and Chief Financial Advisor with New Mexico Finance Authority.